Football

Chennaiyin FC will hope to ride on momentum

Back in business: Having turned the tide and tasted victory in the previous match, Chennaiyin FC wouldn’t want to look back.

Back in business: Having turned the tide and tasted victory in the previous match, Chennaiyin FC wouldn’t want to look back.  

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Will play our best against a good side, says Odisha head coach

One win can do wonders to a side’s mental health! Chennaiyin FC was “delighted” with its first victory in five matches in the Indian Super League here on Tuesday.

Head coach John Gregory, who was talking about “quitting” only a few days back, is talking about the possibility of his team making it to the playoffs.

The exciting triumph over Hyderabad FC the other night has motivated the players no end.

When it takes on Odisha FC here on Thursday, the two-time champion will hope to ride on the momentum.

Gregory didn’t hide his joy in the pre-match press conference here on Wednesday, praising the forwards Nerijus Valskis and Andre Schembri for scoring their first goals in ISL.

“They score every day in training. I know their abilities. I know just how good they are. But it wasn’t happening in the ISL. [With] Nerka [Nerijus] and Andre, I try to give them as much confidence as possible. I hope it is the start of many more goals to follow,” he said.

Incredible feeling

Gregory was immensely happy with the fans’ reaction to Chennaiyin’s maiden win, something his players, he hoped, will take inspiration from. “...The fans’ reaction to it [our win] was quite amazing. I haven’t heard the stadium so noisy. Coming back to the hotel, every member of the [hotel] staff came up to the players and congratulated them.

“It was quite an incredible feeling for all. I hope my players understand what it means to so many people connected to the Club.”

Odisha — a rejigged Delhi Dynamos team — is in sixth position with five points from five encounters, three places higher than the host. It hasn’t been doing great. In its last three matches, it has had one win and two draws.

Joseph Gombau, head coach of Odisha, said his team will get a result this time. “...Yeah tomorrow [Thursday], we will play our best against a good side. I like Chennaiyin as a team. I hope with the good work we are doing, we can get the result,” the Spaniard said.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 6:20:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/chennaiyin-fc-will-hope-to-ride-on-momentum/article30102613.ece

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